Feb. 12, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team celebrated the 2006 season with its annual team banquet Friday in the Ohio Stadium Recruit Room. The Buckeyes handed out six awards, including the Coaches Award, as well as recognized the six seniors who played their final season in 2006.

Emily Francis (Alliance, Ohio/Ohio Premier), Lisa Grubb (Portage, Mich., Michigan Hawks), Michelle Markus (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kolping), Melissa Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kolping), Shannon Neely (Dublin, Ohio/Ohio Premier) and Taylor Smith (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Cobras) all gave their respective senior speeches, sharing their memories about their time with the squad.

Head coach Lori Walker awarded the team honors, which were voted on by the squad, to begin the evening. Amanda Ball (Jr., Centerville, Ohio/Cardinals) was the first recipient, earning the Most Improvement Player accolade. Lisa Collison (So., Niagara Falls, Ontario/Burlington Flames) and Miller were named the Most Valuable Players of the offense and defense, respectively. Collison finished the season tied for first on the team with 23 points on 11 goals and one assist. Miller, who has started every game in her OSU career, was the leader of a defensive unit that limited its opponents to 21 goals and posted six shutouts. The overall team MVP laurel went to Lara Dickenmann (Jr., Kriens, Switzerland/DFC Sursee), who finished the season with seven goals and nine assists. Francis was the recipient of the Elisa Hamilton Buckeye Fury award for the second-consecutive year. The honor is awarded to the player who demonstrates the highest degree of commitment to the team. There were two honorees for the Coaches Award, Neely and Markus. The honor was awarded to both seniors based on their commitment to the team and their ability to overcome their personal struggles.

The Buckeyes begin their spring schedule Feb. 24 when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face defending national champion North Carolina, host Tennessee and fellow Big Ten rival Illinois. Times have yet to be determined.